Research Group "Planetary Plasma Environment" PPE

Research Group "Planetary Plasma Environment" PPE

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Welcome to the "Planetary Plasma Environment" Research Group (PPE) at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research

Research topic

The PPE-Research Group is studying neutral and charged particles in the vicinity of the planets and their moons.

We study the interaction of surfaces/atmospheres/exospheres of planets or moons with the surrounding plasma (solar wind or magnetosphere) in detail.

The PPE group uses data from instruments onboard spacecraft, some of them designed and developed at MPS, as well as Hybrid simulations.

Currently the following research topics are being studied in detail:

  • Investigation of neutral and charged particle populations in the vicinity of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn based on available data sets.
  • Plasma und neutral gas in the magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn including "neutral particle imaging"
  • Investigation of the radiation belts of the Earth, Jupiter, Saturn
  • Interaction between plasma and atmosphere/surfaces of planets and their moons (currently focused on Jupiter and Saturn)
  • Hybrid simulations of the Plasma-Planet/Moon interaction
  • Dust distribution in interplanetary space, in particular cometary meteoroid trails
  • Interstellar dust in the solar system

Projects with PPE participation

Cluster II (RAPID, CIS, EDI)
Cassini (MIMI)
Juice (PEP)

Europa Clipper (PIMS)

JUNO (Jedi)
BepiColombo (MPPE, SERENA)
Mars Express (ASPERA-3)


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